Under the Trump administration, the agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban paved the way for intra-Afghanistan peace talks between the Kabul government and the Doha Taliban. However, no tangible progress has been made in these talks in the Qatari capital since the launch on 12 September. After months of negotiations, the Hezb-i Islami Gulbuddin, the second national militant group after the Taliban, signed a peace agreement with the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul. It was the first peace treaty since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001. Government officials hailed the agreement as a step towards peace and perhaps also as an agreement with the Taliban.  However, others have expressed concern about alleged war crimes committed by controversial leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The agreement included the United States to move it from a list of “global terrorists” to the white list. Parts of Afghan society have protested the peace treaty because of its previous actions.  In my own experience, the Taliban are too decentralized and too diverse a group to control themselves usefully. During the Eid ceasefire, while the Taliban chanted their ability to demonstrate control of violence, innocent Afghan civilians were killed and wounded by hundreds of people. We could negotiate directly with the Taliban of the Quetta Shura or Peshawar Shura, and yet we would have field commanders who would make independent decisions without any “official” discussions or agreements going on.
Too often we treat this group as a homogeneous unit, although it is in fact a loose conglomerate of local tribal leadership, independent warlords, and separate or isolated cells. Any argument that the Taliban can control long-term violence is a fantasy. The agreement signed in Doha on Saturday in the presence of leaders from Pakistan, Qatar, Turkey, India, Indonesia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan will pave the way for the gradual withdrawal of their troops from the United States. The Afghan peace process includes proposals and negotiations to end the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Although sporadic efforts have been made since the war began in 2001, negotiations and the pacifist movement intensified in 2018 amid talks between the Taliban, the main insurgent group fighting the Afghan government and U.S. troops; and the United States, with thousands of troops in the country supporting the Afghan government.  In addition to the United States, regional powers such as Pakistan, China, India and Russia and NATO also play a role in facilitating the peace process.    However, experts point out that the agreement between the government of US President Donald J. Trump and Taliban leaders is only the first step towards lasting peace. The biggest challenge, they say, will be negotiating an agreement between the Islamist fundamentalist group and the Afghan government on the future of Afghanistan.
Many Afghans, exhausted by a war that has killed thousands of people and forced millions to flee, fear that a U.S. withdrawal could trigger new conflicts and ultimately allow the Taliban to regain control. In February 2019, a new round of talks took place in Qatar, this time with Baradar in the Taliban delegation – he had been released by Pakistan in October 2018 at the request of the United States.   Khalilzad stated that this round of negotiations was “more productive than in the past” and that a draft peace agreement had been concluded. The agreement included the withdrawal of U.S. and international troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban, which did not allow other jihadist groups to operate inside the country.  The Taliban also announced progress in the negotiations.  The UN chief calls the agreement “significant development,” while NATO wants to implement its “conditions-based adjustments.” “No agreement is perfect and the agreement between the United States and the Taliban is no exception,” said Robert Malley, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group.